Facebook Devised A Self-Defense Plan For 2018 Midterm Elections

By Nitish Singh / March 30, 2018

To prevent history from repeating itself, Facebook has devised a self-defense plan so that the 2018 midterm elections would be nothing like what happened in 2016. According to the social media giant, state-sponsored attacks take to leverage the platform and posts manipulative content to control public opinion.

In a conference call with reporters, Facebook’s security, advertising, and product teams laid out a four-part plan which will prevent any malicious or manipulative attacks from taking place during the coming elections.

Facebook elections

Image courtesy of Lighthouse Insights

For starters, Facebook has partnered with unidentified outside experts for identifying outside threats. According to Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief information security officer, “you [will] find multiple types of bad content and many bad actors with different motivations. [...] It is important to match the right approach to these various challenges. And that requires not just careful analysis of what has happened. We also have to have the most up-to-date intelligence to understand completely new types of misinformation.

The second part of their plan is to identify and remove fake accounts. Researchers at the University of Oxford found how one group in Poland created as many as 40,000 fake social media accounts to manipulate voters. And so, Facebook is currently invested in deleting millions of fake accounts every single day by analyzing suspicious activities.

Next up, Facebook is making every single ad campaign as transparent as possible. Facebook users, from this summer, will be able to see every ad on the platform and advertisers will have to disclose which campaign they are representing. Also, users will get to know how much money was invested in each ad, what impressions they made, and the demographic information about the audience it reached.

And finally, the social media company will be working hard to reduce the spread of false news on its platform. The company takes the help of third part fact checkers to assess the validity of each viral story. They have given fact checkers access to article links as well as the ability to review photos and videos. From now on, all articles labeled false will be distributed at an 80% lesser rate.

All in all, Facebook’s defense plan seems comprehensive and well thought out. The question is, will they be able to anticipate and counter new threats as they emerge. It is worth noting that the bad actors and spammers are continually upgrading themselves and their techniques to outwit the social media giant for a long time.

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